My rating: 3 of 5 stars
"Suffer no wizard to live."
The Order ensures no wizards, wizard sympathizers, or wizard harborers are allowed to live lest hell's dark maw opens once again allowing demons to walk among man. When Heloise and the villagers of Lutet are gathered to assist the Order by razing a nearby town and all of it's inhabitants, Heloise and her father defy instructions and bring the Orders' wrath to Lutet.
The Armored Saint was a mixed bag for me. I was immediately drawn into the story based on the Order and their sadistic tendencies. The Order is the supreme power in the land and they do not require any reason for their cruelty. The Writ, the world's holy book written by their Emperor, demands obedience from all towards the Emperor and his Order. These are the type of characters I largely want to see brought low because they abuse their power unabashedly. The world seems to be in a permanent Salem Witch Hunt atmosphere. Any suspected wizardry brings the Order near and no one wants the Order near.
After the strong beginning things go slowly and get less interesting. I won't go into major details, but the story focuses largely on Heloise and her father Samson's lack of judgment. They know the Order is cruel beyond need yet they can't seem to stop themselves from messing with them. Samson tries to lecture Heloise, but she clearly gets her rage filled stupidity from him and he has yet to learn to keep himself in check. The Order undoubtedly makes this difficult, but Samson should have taken his own advice when he said, "When a killer [any member of the Order] dumps your kit in the mud, you smile sweetly and tell him he's done right." If only Samson could listen to himself, then perhaps Heloise could learn to do the same.
The book did have more than a few heartbreaking moments. Witnessing friends slaughtered by the Order was significant, but what was harder was Heloise's love interest. She's in love with her best friend Basina who's betrothed to a man. Heloise has never spoken of her love, but she thinks about Basina constantly and is massively protective of her. Young love is difficult enough for anyone, but the added factor of being in love with someone of the same sex in a world where that's likely considered an executable offense is hard to read.
The Armored Saint got me excited in the beginning, but ended with me wondering if I care to continue the series.
View all my reviews